Hepatic epiphany for myrrh – A statistical analysis of experimental data on laboratory animals shows that the resin of the middle-eastern tree Commiphora, better known as “myrrh” can act as a protective antioxidant against liver damage caused by organic lead compounds. Myrrh is a rust-coloured resin obtained from several species of Commiphora and Balsamodendron tree, native to the Middle East and Ethiopia. It is perhaps best known as one of the gifts of the Magi offered to the infant Jesus, along with gold and frankincense in the Christmas legend. During that time, myrrh was revered as an embalming ointment and is also an ingredient in incense.
Crystal first for enzyme – For the first time, researchers have used X-ray crystallography and NMR to directly visualize an enzyme in its low and higher-energy state and demonstrated the crucial role of interconversion between these states for catalysis. The study offers up new molecular sites as potential drug targets.
Boning up on NMR – Solid-state NMR spectroscopy can analyse intact bone and could lead to atomic-level explorations of how disease and aging affect bone. It could show, for instance, how age-related water loss leads to structural changes.
Medical fly guys – Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence have been used to investigate the content of incinerated medical waste fly ash revealing important details about elemental concentrations in this problematic waste.